Curled up in a blanket with a cup of camomile tea at 9.30 to watch Enda address the nation. Nice and cosy. The anticipation was killing me during the weather. I usually love watching Jean Byrne talk about unsettled conditions but it wasn’t her place today. Talk about stealing Enda’s thunder.
Got the three-day summary anyway and then – hurray – grim-faced Enda appeared in his red tie. He looked tiny in front of those enormous flags. Wonder how it feels to be on a wooden chair with the weight of the nation’s deficit upon you. Did anyone notice the upside-down glass? Talk about half empty. Not a drop. You’d think he’d have got thirsty addressing the nation for that long, but these are the times we’re living in. Silver quill on the desk made it all very official didn’t it? I swear he was looking me in the eye the whole time though. Wonder if everyone got that. Might be a Mona Lisa trick they teach you in the Dáil.
Anyway, he was very fluent. Don’t care if he had it all on a screen because he was looking me in the eye. Told me I wasn’t responsible for the crisis. Relieved. We’re spending 16 billion more than we’re taking in though. Not so good. Liked the way he said “Eamonn Gilmore and I” – best of friends. Said they’d imposed losses on some bondholders. He forgot to say which. Ah well, there was a lot to be said.
And then, last thing I expected, he thanked me! For my “courage, character and sense of responsibility”. Ah Jaysus Enda. It’s the least I can do. Any time. You’re doing fairly well yourself, with all your kite flying and addresses to the nation.
Might be because I’m an English teacher now but really noticed the Taoiseach’s emphatic ‘B’s and ‘P’s. The way he said that lower rate of interest on “Bborrowings” will save “ten Bbillion” in time and that we have to “Bbuild on those first steps” and how “Ppublic sector Ppay”’s been cut. Kind of charming.
Said a few times he wished he didn’t have to say this but he does. Ah, Enda.
In fairness, he didn’t shy away from the serious stuff. It’ll take years to recover, we remain fragile, change won’t come quickly enough for many people out of work.
And after all that, still with steely blue eyes directed at me he says: “I am VERY OPTIMISTIC”. He wants to make Ireland the best small country to do business, to raise a family and to grow old”. Good on ya, Endo. Yes we can. But rather you than me.
Oiche mhaith now, Taoiseach. And for God’s sake, have a sip of water. You must be parched.
For Enda’s back story, click here.